When it comes to cooking, ingredients like onion and garlic and seasonings such as salt and pepper are typically the first thing that come to mind when thinking about the flavor of a dish. However, one often overlooked but crucial factor in the outcome of a meal is the water we use in preparation. From the water used to rinse ingredients to the liquid added to a dish, factors such as water hardness and contaminants can impact taste, appearance and health benefits.
Water Hardness or Softness
The term “hard water” refers to water that is high in mineral content, with over 120 mg/L of dissolved minerals, whereas “soft water” contains under 100 mg/L of dissolved minerals. Because of this overly high mineral component, cooking with hard water can impact the taste of a dish. On the other hand, cooking with soft water--especially soft water from a natural spring source like Premium Water--doesn’t impart foreign flavors to a dish, helping to maximize taste.
Hard water can also cause many problems in the kitchen--over time, it can leave scale deposits in kettles, dishwashers, and kitchen pipes. Hard water can also also make it difficult for dish soap to lather, leading to wastefulness, and can leave unattractive stains on glassware and dishware that make them look dull and worn.
For these reasons, many people install water softeners in their home, a type of system that uses sodium to treat hard water and replace minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. However, one side-effect of using this kind of system is that it can add up to 20-35 mg of additional sodium to each glass of water produced. Although this is within the daily sodium allowance of most adults, and doesn’t make the flavor of drinking water noticeably saltier, individuals with high blood pressure are typically recommend not to drink chemically softened water. And families with infants, young children, or elderly members may also want to avoid drinking or cooking with soft water that has been processed this way.
Contaminants in Water
In addition to hard water, using unfiltered water such as tap water exposes your home cooking to chlorine and other chemicals and contaminants that can affect the taste and appearance of the food. Chlorine can discolor fruits and vegetables, while unpleasant flavors from tap water can be absorbed into foods like rice and pasta.
Nitrates are another potential risk for any household that uses tap water or well water. These chemical compounds are produced by fertilizers, septic tanks, and even sewage and can contaminate river water or be absorbed into water aquifers below ground via rain water that permeates the soil. Nitrates are tasteless, colorless, and odorless so they cannot be easily detected. Municipal water systems do test for nitrates, but tap water can become contaminated on the way to your home via city distribution pipes, which can create a risk for families with children, pregnant women, and elderly.
When exposed to nitrates, the body’s bloodstream carries oxygen less effectively via red blood cells, which can lead to anemia and other health problems. Nitrates have been found to be especially harmful for young infants under 3 months of age. For this reason, tap water and well water should not be mixed with baby formula or used to prepare baby food for infants.
Premium Water Is Soft and Pure, the Ideal Water for Cooking and for Kitchens
To help you and your family avoid the above issues, soft water from a natural spring like Premium Water can meet all of your cooking and drinking water needs. Premium Water contains only 25-36 mg/L of dissolved minerals and comes from a pure natural source, the Fuji-Yoshida spring and the Minami-Aso spring on Mount Fuji. As a result, there is no need for chemical treatment to soften Premium Water, ensuring low sodium levels that are safe to drink even for those with high blood pressure. Premium Water is gentle on your water kettles and cookware, and it’s free of contaminants like chlorine and nitrate compounds that can be harmful to your family.
The Importance of Water Quality When Preparing Meals and Beverages
In addition to safety, Premium Water pure alkaline water offers a number of benefits for cooking. Before cooking, rice needs to be rinsed in water, and it then absorbs water during the cooking process--so the type of water used for making rice has a huge impact on the flavor. The minerals found in hard water may spoil the flavor or cause discoloration to white rice.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables come into direct contact with water when they are washed before cooking, and unpeeled vegetables may absorb contaminants in their skin, so the type of water used is important. Steaming vegetables in tap water can also cause discoloration, such as turning bright green broccoli yellow, and potentially impact the flavor of cooked vegetables. For steaming, poaching, and making soups and stocks, using a natural soft water like Premium Water not only helps prevent these issues, but the deliciously clean and refreshing taste of Premium Water can help improve the flavor of every dish.
Baking is another cooking process impacted by hard water and tap water. The minerals in hard water and the chlorine in tap water can impact yeast and other leavening agents, resulting in a stiffer dough, which affects the shape, size, and final texture of baked goods.
When brewing the perfect cup of tea or coffee, there are only two ingredients that go into making it—tea and water or coffee and water—so it’s essential to use not only the finest tea and coffee, but the highest quality water for drawing out the best flavor. Hard water is less solvent because of its high mineral content, which makes it difficult to extract the flavor of tea and coffee when brewing, resulting in weaker tea and coffee. This means it takes more tea leaves and ground coffee to brew a single cup with hard water compared to soft water. Using soft spring water from Premium Water can brew a better cup of tea or coffee with unadulterated flavor. Sourced from pure natural springs in Japan, Premium Water also ensures that your green tea tastes the way it was meant to, for the most authentic flavor.
Premium Water Natural Alkaline Water Is Ideal Water for Cooking and for the Home
Whether cooking for a single household or for a large family, it’s important to make an informed decision about the type of water used in the kitchen. Hard water from the tap can impart unpleasant flavors to food, break down appliances faster, and be potentially unsafe for infants, pregnant women, and the elderly. With Premium Water natural alkaline water, you can trust that the water you use for cooking and drinking at home is not only safe but delicious.